Title: End of the Road
Author: KS
Rating: PG-13

Summary: 2nd Installment to "February 23rd, 2018". Scully and Mulder are reunited with their son in the most unfortunate of circumstances. Takes place about 2 months after Ghouli.

Notes: Many thanks to WildWingSuz for BETA-ing! You don't really need to read Feb 23rd to understand this one, but I promise you it's worth a read also. :)


1.

Jackson van de Kamp had finally made it to California, his final destination after days of using his powers to mask his identity in order to buy food and rent motels. He spent several weeks there and decided it was time to move on to keep a low profile. The end was near and he knew that he would soon be reunited with his biological mother and father.

From his extensive web searching and hacking abilities, he learned quite a bit simply from knowing she went by "Scully" and was an FBI agent. Dana Katherine Scully. The one who played a big part in his visions of the end of the world, and who discovered the cure to the plague that would be unleashed on Earth. Her partner was Fox William Mulder. He hadn't seen much of the man in his visions, but he had recognized Mulder when he saw her. When she cried over his body, at the hospital when the DoD tried to kill him he was there, and when he met his biological mother again under his masked identity, he was there.

They were close and he felt comforted to know that she had someone to catch her when she fell. It was something he often wrote about in his blogs. Only he didn't know who she was at the time, so he called her 'Ginger'. In his brief glimpses of Mulder, he could see some of himself; his height and coloring for sure. His mother was petite and had recessive traits. The one thing that stood out the most, though, was her warm smile and gentle tone when he purposely ran into her under his guise in front of the hospital. She was carrying his snow globe and was devastated when she dropped it. Why did she have his snow globe?

He told her she seemed like a nice person and meant it. It couldn't have been easy for her to say the things she did while he made everyone think he was dead. Jackson was afraid though. Before her confession, he didn't know who she was and that she worked for the government. He couldn't bring himself to come out of hiding when she and Mulder said they wanted to make sure he was okay. She had the gentle and loving tone of voice that reminded him of his adoptive mother, only his parents were dead.

He wanted to allow Scully to comfort him, but he couldn't. Doing so would put them in danger as well. He had lost enough and hadn't properly grieved losing his parents since he had been in shock. Now he was across the country and was alone. He reached out to her in dreams, or tried to anyways.

Lately, he had been having a dream about his biological mother and a baby. She was pregnant, he had gathered, but she didn't seem to know. Several weeks had gone by since that visitation. He hoped she was okay. He was going to have a sister. Would she be like him? He doubted it since the Crossroads project stopped just 2 years after he was born. He had gathered that much since hacking into the classified DoD files. The evidence was probably long gone now. Still, maybe a sibling would be nice since he grew up as a single child in his family. Most of his friends at school had siblings.

He sighed as he wove along the hill that lead him past the Nevada line. What he didn't see though was the truck that sped up along the side of his car and smashed into the side so hard that he lost control as he was caught by surprise and shoved off the side of the road and down the hill.

Scully was tossing and turning in her sleep. Mulder was jostled awake by the abrupt movement. Her face was clammy and her satin PJs clung to her skin. "Scully," he shook her gently and she jumped, suddenly gasping for air. She sat up as Mulder turned the lights on and her hands found their place on her midsection, curling around the small bump underneath. Mulder placed his hands on her shoulders and rubbed her back gently with his left hand until she caught her breath. He reached over with his other hand and brushed a piece of wet hair from her eyes.

"Mulder, I just had a bad dream...about William. He was in an accident. I don't know, if it was a dream or a vision, but he was badly hurt."

Mulder stroked her back in slow circles. "It's okay, Scully," he whispered, trying to keep her calm. She was three months along now in her pregnancy, but the doctor had made it clear that miscarriage and other complications still were not out of the realm of possibility since it was a high risk pregnancy. She had an appointment for an amniocentesis coming up soon, which she was highly anxious about and also since there posed a risk of miscarriage after the procedure. Scully looked over at the digital clock whose numbers read 4 am.

Just then, in the distance, Mulder could hear the distinguishable sound of tires hitting their graveled driveway. He made a mental note to get that driveway remodel done asap. Scully must have heard it too as she looked up at him in alarm. "Stay here, I'll check it out." Scully opened her mouth to protest, but nothing came out. "Please, Scully, I'll let you know when it's safe."

Scully pulled her gun from the drawer of her nightstand. She slipped over the side of the bed and kept the gun in one hand while she cradled her abdomen in the other, trying to stay calm.

As Mulder went downstairs and towards front door, he took a peek out the window. He sighed as he recognized the familiar SUV and the tall, bald man that exited the vehicle. He opened the door and folded his arms to ward off the chill. It was barely spring, so it was still chilly out.

"Skinner," he said as he stepped out onto his porch, completely barefoot.

Skinner walked towards the stairs. "Mulder," he started.

"You could have called," Mulder said matter of fact. "What brings you out here?"

Skinner stepped up onto the porch and Mulder turned towards the sound of his screen door opening behind them. A fearful looking Scully had wrapped herself in one of her long black trench coats and stepped out behind Mulder.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to scare you both," he said. "But I couldn't tell you this over the phone."

Mulder instinctively reached out and put his arm around Scully who had went to stand next to him, pulling her towards him protectively.

"What is it, Walter?" Scully asked, now completely alert. She had a horrible feeling.

Skinner looked down to his feet. "Jackson Van De Kamp was found, his car was ran off the road near Sparks, Nevada."

Scully gasped and Mulder tightened his grip around her.

"He's in critical condition," he continued.

It hurt to see Scully let out a choked sob.

"The DoD wants to get to him first."

Mulder opened his mouth to speak before Scully cut between them. "We need to go to him, now!"

Skinner could tell something was different about Scully. Not necessarily the urgency, but something in her face and mannerisms he couldn't quite place. It reminded him of when he had found Mulder's body in the woods all those years ago.

Skinner nodded. "I figured you would, which is why I got you a flight out in two hours, you might want to hurry and pack up. I'll take you there."

Mulder looked back to Scully who was already rushing back into the house before he could say anything.

"And one more thing," Skinner continued. "No one else knows he's your son...even me and it's best you keep it that way, understood?"

Mulder nodded. He turned back towards the door and held it open behind him. Skinner reluctantly followed him inside and sank down into a chair in the living room. He was not fazed by Mulder's decor. At least it had a homey feeling to it, unlike his apartment.

Mulder had gone upstairs and found Scully frantically throwing stuff into a suitcase. "Scully," he said. "What if he's just using his powers again?"

Scully stopped and turned back towards him. "Something really is wrong this time, Mulder. I saw it in my dream. He's in trouble. He needs us."

Mulder couldn't doubt her this time. She continued to pack her things. He knew she wouldn't have it if he tried to stop her, but he didn't want her getting too worked up.

He knew anything he said would earn him an "I'll be fine", so he got to work on packing his suitcase as well.


2.

Scully had fallen asleep sometime after they had gotten on the flight to Nevada. Thankfully, it was a nonstop flight without layovers, courtesy of the FBI. Still though, the wait only made their anxieties grow. There was onboard Wi-Fi that Mulder had opted for in case Skinner messaged him with any news updates. Scully's head rested on his shoulder and her mouth was slightly ajar so that he could feel a growing wetness seep through the material of his long sleeved shirt. He didn't have the heart to wake her. She had been through enough already and needed to rest for whatever might come. She once again used her long coat as a blanket and he hoped she was warm enough. The flight attendants often looked from Scully to Mulder and smiled as they passed by. She didn't even wake when they came by to offer snacks and beverages, quiet as he was about it.

A little while later though, the flight attendants were instructed to return to their seats and the seatbelt light was back on. A sudden jerk of the plane startled Scully and she nearly jumped out of her seat if it wasn't for the seatbelt still being loosely secured around her lap. Her hand had knocked into Mulder's cup of coffee on the pull out tray, causing a small spill onto his jeans that went temporarily unnoticed. "Scully, Scully...calm down, it's okay," he said gently, reaching over to place his hand on her shoulder. Her coat had fallen to her feet and Mulder noticed that her left hand was curled protectively around her belly.

Scully stopped and looked over at him, taking several deep breaths. Her attempts to calm herself were moot, because the plane began to shake again and the pilot made an announcement about the turbulence they were experiencing. Scully looked back at him with a panicked expression. He reached out and took her left hand in his, clasping it tightly.

"It's okay, you're okay, Scully," he repeated. In a way, he found it endearing how some things didn't change. Despite the number of planes they had been on over the years, a little turbulence never failed to rattle the strong empowered Dana Scully. Her head fell back against the seat and she sighed. He felt her squeeze his hand lightly in return. Mulder had felt eyes on them earlier, but he didn't care. His only concern was for Scully at that moment.

"Dammit, I really gotta pee. I hope they turn the light off soon. I didn't expect to need to pee so often just yet," she grumbled, frustrated by the inconvenience.

Mulder looked over at her to meet her gaze and smiled sympathetically. He indicated his shoulder.

"You drooled on me."

Jackson had been brought to St. Mary's medical center. He had lost consciousness after his car rolled. In those moments, he dreamed about his adoptive parents, his biological parents and his sister-to-be. He saw her a lot in his dreams lately. It was different than the apocalyptic dreams he was used to have. In one of the dreams, he saw his birth mother in her house and brought her to the baby. He knew she had seen it too.

This dream, however, was peaceful. He heard someone singing a song called Jeramiah Was a Bullfrog. It was oddly familiar, but he didn't know where it was coming from. Just then, the fog that seemed to mask wherever the voice was coming from lifted. She turned and smiled at him. He recognized the long ginger hair and kind blue eyes. "Hi," she said. He stopped and looked at her. She was holding a baby. His sister.

"I recognize that song," he said.

She smiled. "I used to sing it to you as a baby...half the time I hoped you wouldn't remember my tone deaf singing," she smiled lightly. Her face suddenly got serious. "Are you okay? We're coming to get you, your father and I. We will keep you safe, I promise."

Jackson looked around, hearing noises outside of his discussion with his birth mother. He turned back and suddenly she disappeared as did the baby with no name. What was that? Some sort of apparition?

His eyes fluttered against the bright light as doctors and nurses suddenly surrounded him and transferred him to a hospital bed. They were yelling things at one another and hooking him up to various medical equipment. They looked down at him in shock. "He's awake! He's awake!"

Jackson groaned as reality set in and as he heard the commotion around him, he realized that he was in pain and that his temple was throbbing. He couldn't concentrate and had no energy to disguise himself. It would only be a matter of time before the DoD got to him. He couldn't remember much about the accident, but he was starting to think it was no accident. They had tried to kill him again, almost successfully. He only hoped his birth mother and father found him before they did. The last thing he wanted was to put them all in danger, but he needed them right now. He needed someone to hold him and tell him it was going to be okay. He groaned and began to allow himself to slip back into the darkness.


3.

Another several agonizing hours later, their flight finally landed at Reno-Tahoe International Airport. Between their restlessness, and the turbulence of the flight, they had only managed to get a couple of winks in. Mulder questioned whether Scully should be flying and was worried about the effects that the stress and turbulence were having on her and the baby. He didn't know much about pregnancy, but Scully had mentioned that it was high risk due to her age and past medical complications. He knew there was no stopping her when it came to the safety of their son, though he knew she often worried about the baby. She had told him she wouldn't have to worry about travel restrictions until around six months.

The wait to exit the plane seemed like an eternity before they went and got their car. Scully's patience had worn quite thin by the time they got to the rental car area. She became fidgety and impatient to the point where she had her arms crossed over her chest and was tapping one heeled foot on the ground while waiting for Mulder to complete the paperwork. Mulder couldn't help but smile to himself. Despite the circumstances, she was quite adorable.

Mulder quickly took the paperwork and they hurried out to the rental car. Once they were inside, Scully's stomach growled loudly, reminding her she hadn't eaten in several hours. It also got Mulder's attention and he looked over at her and smiled. All she wanted was to get to that damned hospital, but she was famished to the point of being lightheaded. She had a much larger appetite since discovering she was pregnant and couldn't go nearly as long between meals. She looked over at Mulder as his gaze settled on her. "We should get some food."

Scully opened her mouth to protest, but realized Mulder was right. She couldn't function properly if she didn't eat something soon. She was used to going long stretches of time without eating during her long shifts at the hospital and during their cases, but it wasn't just herself she had to eat for. She had make sure she did everything right for this pregnancy so there were no complications. It was too easy for anything to go wrong carrying a baby at her age.

She nodded. "Yeah."

Mulder started the engine and did a quick search on Yelp on his phone. "There's a burger place nearby."

Scully frowned. She probably should eat something other than fast food, but the mere mention of a burger caused her to salivate. Mulder fully expected an argument, but to his surprise, Scully nodded. "Okay."

"Wow that was easy."

Scully sighed as Mulder turned on the navigation and pulled out of the parking lot. Scully leaned back against the seat and closed her eyes. "I feel like I don't have much choice when it comes to food lately."

Mulder smiled, but silently lamented the fact that he missed most of her first pregnancy with William. He couldn't let his mind go there, not right now.

Thankfully, since they picked the first place that showed up on Yelp, it was only a 5 minute drive from the rental car place. Mulder ordered an Angus burger with fries and Scully ordered a veggie burger with sweet potato fries. After they finished ordering, they picked a table and set their order number in the middle. Mulder set his jacket on the chair and watched as Scully fidgeted anxiously with her phone.

"Wow, Scully, I'm impressed you ordered fries even if they were sweet potato fries," he said trying to distract her from the reality of why they were there.

Scully looked up at him. "Well, back in the day, Mulder, we didn't have hipster restaurants that had vegan, gluten free or dairy free fare."

Mulder grinned. "Did you just say hipster, Scully?"

Before she could respond, their food was delivered and Scully all but devoured the burger before beginning on the fries. Her hands were a sticky mess and there was still remnants of the burger on the face that she missed when she wiped her face with a napkin. He grabbed his napkin, seizing the opportunity and startled her by dabbing the bit on her chin that she missed. She blushed slightly with embarrassment and watched as Mulder turned back to check something on his phone. She reached over and claimed a couple of his French fries as her own. Mulder was fully aware, yet pretended not to notice. He found this version of Scully adorbs, as he so kindly put it not too long ago. Just then, Mulder's phone vibrated. He normally didn't answer unknown calls, but he had a feeling be needed to make an exception.

"Hello?" Scully's attention was on him immediately. He looked back at her. "Okay, thank you. We're on our way." He hung up the phone and looked back at her.

"Who was that, Mulder?"

"Northern Nevada Medical Center," he said as he stood up from the table and grabbed his coat. "Jackson has regained consciousness."

Scully's eyes went wide. She felt an array of emotions, especially relief and anxiety at the knowledge that she would finally be able to meet their son.

It was only about a 20 minute drive, but the two of them were terribly anxious. Mulder looked over at Scully in the passenger seat. He could hear her taking a few deep breaths to calm herself before her left hand settled on her abdomen as she stared out the window. She seemed to do that quite a bit and it made him wonder if it was something she did a lot the first time when he wasn't around. Though she didn't do it much while they were at work. He figured it was because they wanted to keep it a secret as long as they could, though she would slip up now and then while they were alone in the office. As if she could feel his gaze, she turned back to him and reached for his right hand. Intertwining their fingers, she settled their hands on her abdomen. She smiled nervously and he gave her fingers a reassuring squeeze.

Once they arrived to the hospital, as casually as they could without drawing too much suspicion, they flashed their badges to the nurse at the front desk and asked for the hospital room of a Jackson Van De Kamp. The young blond woman seemed startled, but quickly nodded. Mulder and Scully only hoped the DoD hadn't already gotten to him before they did. Once again, they were so close. As relieved as they were to find out he made it alive last time, it was heartbreaking not to have a face to face reunion-knowingly at least. Mulder looked over at Scully, who looked back at him. Sensing her fear and anxiety, he reached out for her hand, which she gladly took and held onto it. Normally, they weren't used to displaying their affection this openly, especially in the middle of a crowded hospital, but they were finally going to see their son and they had no idea what condition he was in or how he'd react to seeing them.

Once they finally reached the correct wing of the hospital, they stole a final glance at one another and continued on towards the correct room. Their hopes, however, were shattered once more when they realized that no one was in it.

Scully hurried into the room, stealing a glance back at Mulder. There were IV lines and wiring that appeared to be thrown astray. Someone had been in this bed moments ago. She took a deep, defeated breath and glanced back at Mulder, who couldn't bear to look Scully directly in the eye to see pain reflected once again in those blue depths.

As she turned her attention back to the room, she heard Mulder take off down the corridor shouting. Drawing in a deep breath, she picked up a medical chart that read Jackson Van De Kamp on top and began to read.


4.

Scully assessed the medical chart, noting some various injuries. Fractured arm, ribs and major concussion. He had been in critical condition before, how the hell had he gotten out of bed? Did he have the ability to heal his injuries? She knew that he could manipulate perception and share visions with her, but the rest was a mystery. He either ran away or they got there too late. She suddenly felt a searing pain slice across her temple and she gasped, dropping the clipboard to the floor. She placed her hands tightly against the sides of her head and tried to taking deep breaths. The pain was gone moments after it occurred, but she suddenly feel dizzy and sick. She stumbled towards the wall of the room and leaned against it for support as she tried to gather herself. She opened her eyes, her vision slightly blurred. Once the room came back into focus, she looked out of the doorway and saw no sign of Mulder. A nurse came rushing into the room, stopping first to look at Scully, who clearly was unwell. It was then she realized that one arm was wrapped around her waist while the other was braced against the wall. She quickly stood straight, trying to gather herself. "The patient in this room, where is he?"

The nurse, whose nametag read Nguyen, looked curiously at Scully, clearly trying to decide whether or not she needed some sort of medical attention before answering her question. "This floor has been closely monitored the last several hours. No one could have possibly gotten in or out on our watch."

Scully thought for a moment about the security cameras, but she wasn't sure if they would be of any use. Especially if Jackson was disguising himself. If he escaped somehow, they would have no idea of knowing where he went. It was a slight relief to know that they made it here before the DoD. Jackson probably knew he had to get out before he was detected. Even so, it didn't make her feel any less helpless. He had slipped through their fingers two months ago.

"Are you okay?" The nurse asked, picking up the clipboard. Scully hadn't realized she'd zoned out until the nurse had spoken again. "What's your relation to the patient?"

"I'm...uh, his mother," she said without thinking. She mentally kicked herself when it was too late to take the words back. No one else could know that Jackson was their son.

The nurse smiled sympathetically. "I see. Well, he couldn't have gotten far in his condition. My colleagues are searching the floor right now."

Scully nodded her gratitude before slipping back out the door. Her temple was still throbbing and she tried to fight back the nausea as she searched for a restroom. Thankfully, there was one at the other end of the hall. She slipped into the closest stall and as her mouth watered, she prepared to once again empty the contents of her stomach. She took several deep breaths as she used her left hand to brace herself against the wall of the stall and the other to hold her hair out of her face. To her surprise, the need to vomit seemed to pass a couple minutes later. She stood up and slumped against the wall, closing her eyes as she took several breaths.

Placing her hand on her abdomen, she muttered wryly, "You and your brother giving me so much trouble." She unlocked the stall and walked out to wash her hands. She stared straight ahead into the mirror, noting the visible signs of aging, much as she had done before when she and Mulder were on that case in Henrico County. She couldn't help but notice that her face appeared slightly fuller and her hair had a sheen to it she hadn't noticed before. She put her hands under the automatic faucet and cupped some water before splashing it over mouth. She ignored the sound of footsteps behind her and quickly dried her hands before retreating from the bathroom. She decided to go outside and have a look around, but didn't expect to find much. She pulled her black coat tightly around her shoulders to ward of the cool breeze.

It was almost spring, but they were in the mountains and it was still quite cool. She pulled her phone out of her coat pocket, contemplating on whether or not to call Skinner. He had made it clear they were on their own, though. He had been acting so out of the ordinary the past few months that she was a bit wary of him, even if she knew in her heart that he always held their best interests. Scully folded her arms over her chest and looked around at the random passersby. Visitors, patients, doctors. Any one of those people could be her son in disguise. She knew she should go back inside and find Mulder, see if he found out anything.

Instead, she took a seat on a bench in an isolated area towards the back of the building. Sighing, she pulled out the windmill snow globe she had carried with her and relived the moment she first ran into her son outside of a hospital in Norfolk, Virginia, unbeknownst to her at the time. Mulder had found a place that fixed the casing for her since she had dropped it, so it looked brand new again. She leaned forward while turning the globe in her hands, watching the snow particles swirl around inside. Scully closed her eyes and sighed, feeling the tears come back full force. Would she ever see him again? He kept slipping from their grasp.

"You should be more careful, you don't want to drop it again."

And at the sound of that voice, it took all her strength to keep it from falling out of her grasp as she jumped to her feet. The familiar Asian man that she now knew as the pickup artist stood before her. She quickly pocketed the globe before rubbing at the tears that began to fall from her eyes.

"Oh God," she whispered.

She was entirely unprepared and to make matters worse, she felt frozen in place.

"William," she uttered without thinking. "It's you."

Putting his hands in his jean pockets, the older man smiled back at her. "You figured it out?"

Scully smiled as she wiped away more tears. "Your... Mulder figured it out. The Malcolm X quote."

"Ah, I see."

Scully had spilled her entire speech at the morgue, but here she was at a loss for words.

"He's my dad isn't he?"

Scully nodded. "Yes, I want you to meet him."

He thought for a moment and then looked down. "I can't, not yet."

"Why?" Scully blurted through tears. "I-I want to see you as you. I need to make sure you're okay. You were seriously injured. Please."

Jackson shook his head. "I can't go with you. I'm a danger to everyone around me."

Scully willed her body to cooperate, but it refused to move. "Not to us, please let us help you."

"You called me William," he said changing the subject. "At the morgue, too."

Scully sighed with slight embarrassment as she remembered that he wasn't really dead during her speech.

"Yes, we named you William before you were adopted," she whispered.

The older man managed a smile. "It's a nice name. I'm sorry, but I have to go now."

"No, please," she begged. "William!"

"Scully?" She heard Mulder calling for her. Scully couldn't turn her eyes away from the man her son was impersonating.

"Scully?" He called out again.

William disappeared and she was no longer standing, but rather laying on the bench. Mulder was walking up to her, concern etched across his features. She sat up and realized she was once again using her coat as a blanket. Was it another dream? A vision?

When she didn't respond, Mulder rushed to her side, seeing that she looked dazed and confused. Thankfully, no one else was around. She pulled her coat back over her shoulders.

"Scully, what are you doing out here? I've been looking all over for you. You weren't answering your phone." He moved to touch her shoulder.

Scully sighed. "I had another vision, Mulder. He's okay, William is okay."

She could see a look of relief flash across Mulder's face, but she knew without saying that he wished he had some type of connection with their son.

"Scully, you were sleeping out here. You must have fallen asleep when you had the vision. We haven't slept much in over 24 hours. We should check into a hotel nearby and sleep on this."

"I'm not leaving until we find him, Mulder. He's around here somewhere. I don't want to lose him again."

Mulder nodded. "I know, but we both need to rest."

Scully sighed. He was right. She had another life that depended on her as well. Mulder held his hand out for her, which she gladly took and stood up.

"He was right to get out of here when he did, Scully. The DoD is here now."

Scully didn't want to hear those words, but it didn't shock her. She sighed and nodded. Mulder slipped his arm around her protectively as he steered her towards their car. "We'll find him, Scully and convince him that we can help him. I promise."


5.

Mulder picked a Best Western, something better than the dingy motels they usually stayed in and was likely outside the budget the FBI had for the X-Files division. He and Scully drove to the hotel in silence. He had been searching and calling Scully for at least 30 minutes until he found her and he had been worried sick. She hadn't said much since returning to the car, just that she had seen him again, as the pickup artist and that he was okay. He felt relieved, but it tore them apart that he slipped through their fingers once again. They could help protect him. Mulder pulled up to the hotel check in area and looked over at Scully who was fast asleep. He got out and quickly went to see if there was any vacancy. Thankfully, there was a king room available.

After handing over his credit card and signing some paperwork, he returned to the car to a still sleeping Scully. She shifted slightly as he got into the car and drove around to where their room was. Turning off the engine, Mulder looked over at Scully. Her ginger colored waves had fallen gracefully over her cheekbones as she rested her head against the passenger door frame. He hated to wake her. "Scully," he said, reaching over to tuck her hair behind her ear. "We're here."

She groaned as she fought to open her tired eyes. Finally, she grabbed her coat and opened the door as Mulder went to grab their luggage. She followed him as she hugged herself to ward off the cold breeze. Once they were inside, Mulder looked over at her as they walked towards their room. "Sorry, Scully. Only one room available. With one bed," he winked. "No patron saints either, sorry."

Scully managed a small laugh as she fought against the weight of her eyelids. They came to a stop in front of their room and Mulder slipped the keycard in, pushing the door open.

Mulder flipped on the light switch and slipped his hand on Scully's back, gently urging her to go in first. She removed her coat and set it on the back of the desk chair. The large bed couldn't have looked warmer and inviting.

"I decided to upgrade," Mulder chuckled. "A comfortable bed is a must; all those cheap motel beds have done a number on my back."

"Mmm hmm." Scully quickly found her silky pajamas in the suitcase Mulder brought in and slipped under the covers. The red letters on the digital clock display next to the bed read four o' clock.

"I'm going to grab some dinner, Scully...any preferences?"

Her back was already facing the door as she rested on her side. "No, surprise me. My nausea has been doing better these days. Just no fish."

Mulder couldn't help but grin. "One blobfish coming up."

"And don't forget to tip."

"But it's just takeout..."

"Tip, Mulder."

"Just the tip," he muttered with a grin.

He heard a muffled laugh as he walked towards the door. "I'll be back soon, get some rest okay?"

Mulder closed the door, pulling it shut and making it sure it was locked behind him. He pulled out his phone, but not before he saw a quick movement out of the corner of his eye. He frowned and decided to walk in the direction from which it came. As he proceeded down the hall, he realized that it was completely empty. Maybe he really was imagining things. He sighed and went to pick up a few things at a liquor store before opting for Chinese. It was always a safe choice. Scully was especially fond of the tofu options they had these days. Worry for Scully had him quickly returning to the hotel. On second thought, he probably could have just used Uber Eats or something to order food. Oh well.

Jackson had seen his birth father exit one of the hotel rooms. He had been working on getting proper control of his powers. He had caused his birth mother to get into an accident not long ago and knew he wouldn't just be jeopardizing her life now if he let it get out of control. Too many people died because of him. The last thing he wanted was to have them get hurt. He had meant what he said. His birth mother seemed like a nice person. She had kind eyes and a beautiful smile.

Even though he didn't know much about her other than what he could find on the internet, he heard her words in the morgue and as confusing as it was at the time, he knew she was sincere. He wanted to keep them all safe, even if that meant staying away. Jackson decided to attempt to grab some ice again for his injuries. While they were better after his lame attempt to heal himself, his head was still hurting, his arm still throbbing in his sling and his side was still sore. He peered out of his room and looked around the hallway before deciding the coast was clear. It was difficult for him to keep up with his projected images with lack of sleep, so he had to make it quick. He sighed, forcing his eyes to stay open as he filled his bucket of ice. What he wasn't aware of was the sound of footsteps coming down the hall. He looked up in time to catch Mulder's gaze. Jackson jumped to his feet, dumping the bucket in the process.

"Jackson, wait!" Mulder cried out.

Jackson gasped as he tried to stand. His injuries hadn't entirely healed yet, making it that much easier for Mulder to catch up to him and grab onto his jacket with enough force to make him lose his balance and stumble slightly.

Jackson huffed in defeat. "You can't be around me okay? It's not safe."

Mulder pulled Jackson to him for a hug and the young man held his arms out awkwardly. "Why do you keep running from us? We can help," Mulder asked, pulling back. He looked Jackson up and down and frowned, seeing his injuries.

Jackson tried to pull back. "Look, they'll find me. I need to go back to my room."

Mulder nodded. He grabbed the ice bucket and followed Jackson to his room.

Once they were inside, Mulder had set then food containers down. "Are you hungry?" He asked.

Jackson shook his head. "No. I was able to get food earlier."

Mulder nodded. Jackson groaned in pain as he sat on the bed. He had a gauze bandage on his forehead that needed tending to. Mulder had never really thought of what he would say to his son when the time came. Here he was, finally in front of him after all these years. "You shouldn't be here," Jackson finally said.

Mulder shook his head. "You shouldn't have left the hospital," he started, already feeling like a dad. "At least...let your m-Scully look at you. She's a doctor."

Jackson folded his arms in front of him awkwardly due to the cast. He knew how much his birth mother wanted to see him, but he was afraid it might put her and the baby he knew she was carrying in harm's way.

"You don't need to worry about us, son," Mulder said. "Let us do that."

Jackson looked down. "Okay, fine," he said nervously. Truth be told, he wasn't sure he was ready to be face to face with his birth mother.

Mulder nodded. "Okay, promise me you'll be here when I get back." He was skeptical.

Jackson looked up at Mulder and nodded with resignation.

Mulder retreated back to his motel room and set the food on top of the table. To his surprise, Scully was awake and dressed in her casual hooded sweatshirt and black pants. She looked up at him. "He's here, isn't he?"

Mulder looked at her and wondered how she knew. But then again, she and Jackson had a connection they did not.

She looked him directly in the eye and he nodded. "Yes," he said simply. "You should check his injuries."

Scully nodded and retrieved a first aid kit she always travelled with from her suitcase.

She followed Mulder to their son's room. Mulder knocked on the door and waited several moments before he began to worry that the kid really did ditch them. Something he was known for. As Scully looked over at Mulder, the door opened. Seeing her son for the first time as himself made her knees go weak. Mulder slipped his arm around her waist reassuringly. Jackson stepped back to allow them in and quickly closed the door. He looked over at Scully, who was in shock. "You're really here," she whispered.

Scully wanted to hug him so badly but didn't want to make him uncomfortable. He nodded uncomfortably as she looked over his injuries. "Why do you keep hiding from us? We can help," she insisted. She noticed that his injuries didn't look quite as severe as documented.

"People get hurt because of me," he said. "I don't want anyone else to die."

Scully cleaned the wound on her son's forehead and put some fresh bandages over it. "It's not your fault, Jackson." She was trying her best to sound neutral and not break into a million pieces. Mulder stood behind Scully as he watched them. "Nothing is infected, but you need to change out the bandages."

Jackson suddenly recalled Scully's emotional speech at the hospital. He had to admit, it felt nice to be taken care of. It reminded him of when his adoptive parents were alive. "I had a good childhood," he says suddenly as Scully finished up changing the bandages. She smiled. "I'm so glad. I worried so much," her voice wavered.

To her surprise, Jackson put his arms around her in a lame attempt to let her know he was fine. "You need to save that for your baby. I'm fine, you don't need to worry about me." Typical teenager response. That was when the dam broke loose. She fought so hard to keep her emotions in check in front of him, but the damn hormones were getting their way again. She wrapped her arms around her son and held onto him tightly as she felt a seventeen-year weight being lifted from her chest. Mulder sat next to them on the bed. Scully reached for Mulder with her left arm and pulled him into the hug.

"Please, come home with us," she whispered. "So we can explain everything."


6.

The next day, they decided to head back to Virginia. With the one exception, they were driving. Jackson had spent the majority of the time disguising himself to others to keep the three, no, four, of them safe. It was time well spent talking about his past, his birth parents' past and the reasons they gave him up for adoption. His injuries had healed up nicely as well.

Jackson knew Scully was pregnant from the shared visions, but they hadn't talked about it. To be honest, he wasn't sure how to ask about it or talk about it without feeling awkward. On the few occasions Mulder had had to stop the rental car for Scully to get some fresh air or to relieve the contents of her lunch, it was a reminder of what was to come.

He watched them both with genuine curiosity and was perplexed by their chemistry. It was different than the love he had seen exchanged by his adoptive parents. Their nonverbal communication was almost effortless. While Jackson couldn't read minds and his mental connection seemed to only be with Scully, he could interpret feelings and sense things about people. Mulder was growing worried about Scully and the baby knowing how risky this all was, and the effects it was having on her. She was growing more and more fatigued as the baby grew. He couldn't help but feel terribly guilty. It was the reason he didn't want them to find him in the first place. It was dangerous for them.

On the final night, Dana had fallen asleep a few hours before they stopped. He watched as Mulder carried her into the motel room and eased her down onto the bed before pulling the covers over her.

It took just over four days of truck stops, fast food and dingy motels before they pulled up on the graveled road that led to Farrs Corner, VA. The house was older, and the countryside wasn't unlike where he spent his first years in Wyoming. The three of them were weary from the long drive, but it was the best way. There was no way he wanted to risk TSA, even if he could make them see what he wanted. Being isolated on a plane just didn't sit well since there were so many people after him. He didn't want to risk Mulder, Scully, and their unborn child either.

The three of them went inside together with the few belongings they had with them. Jackson noticed a desk in the middle of the living room that was cluttered with news clippings, papers, books and sunflower seeds. An ultrasound image stood out amongst everything.

Jackson was startled by Scully's hand on his arm. "Are you hungry, Jackson?" she asked wearily. He shook his head.

"I'm okay," he insisted. "But you should eat something." He indicated the slightly more noticeable swell of her abdomen.

"I will always worry about you."

"I know," he said. "But you've already worried about me enough. She needs you more right now."

They would have given him a property tour, but they were all much too tired. So Jackson followed them both upstairs and they showed him the guest room. It was simple and had an air mattress on the floor. He gathered they didn't have visitors often.

Scully looked over at him and smiled wearily. "Sorry, it's not much...but we can get you some more things later. The couch might be more comfortable-"

"It's fine," he assured her. An air mattress sounded like heaven when he thought about the days he'd spent sleeping in random places while on the run or the questionable motels he stayed at that likely had bed bugs.

She nodded and looked over at Mulder. "I'll go get some blankets."

Mulder turned to Jackson. "I have some things you can wear for now, I think we're probably pretty close to the same size."

"Thanks," he tried his best to sound grateful.

How long would he stay here? He couldn't live with himself if he brought more danger into their lives. He'd never had a sibling, though his adoptive parents had at one point considered adopting another child. They must have changed their minds when they began to notice his powers.

How would he fit in even if it was possible to stay?


7.

Since Dana and Mulder had brought him to their home in Virginia, he stayed with them occasionally and they grew comfortable with one another as they all adjusted. Jackson, however, couldn't stay with them all of the time and they had to accept those limitations. Scully and Mulder appreciated the time they did get to spend together, though a lot of it was done at the house as Jackson had to wear a guise in public.

Jackson felt a connection to the baby inside of Scully almost immediately and it wasn't something he could exactly describe. How do you describe a connection to an unborn fetus? One day, he sensed distress from the baby and he pleaded with Dana to have a cesarean. She would have died in childbirth otherwise. He had learned to control his powers, so he didn't share that vision with her. Her pregnancy had already been difficult enough that he did his best to keep whatever visions he had at bay.

Thankfully, the baby was born healthy despite having to stay extra days in the was a few weeks premature, but finally she was able to go home. Jackson didn't spend all his time at the Unremarkable House, yet he felt awkward and unsure of how to act around the new baby, so he kept his distance more so than before.

Scully knew from her brief consultation with her son's psychiatrist all those months prior that he suffered from extreme depression and anxiety. Schizophrenia had been ruled out after she gave her confirmation she too shared the same visions of the future. Though there was a family history of depression, Scully would have been shocked if Jackson wasn't suffering from some type of mental illness considering all he'd been through in his young life. Part of it could have been genetic and when she thought about it, the more she realized that leaving Mulder over it was a terrible mistake. For both of them. How could she help her son when she had fled before? She suspected that he also might be suffering from PTSD to some extent. Reaction was to be expected.

Jackson had a feeling Dana knew he was distancing himself on purpose and that it hurt her. The biggest reason he kept his distance though was because he was still afraid to get too close in case he had to leave and never come back. He'd grown to love them and if he got too close, he wouldn't be able to let go. Bad people still wanted him, and nothing would ever change that, so he had to keep a low profile.

Jackson had left for a few weeks not long after they came home with Micaela. It was difficult for Mulder and Scully, because in addition to worrying about their new baby, they worried for their son who was practically an adult.

The weather grew colder as they were nearing the end of the year in November. The snow hadn't come just yet, but winter weather was on its way. Jackson had returned just before a thunderstorm was headed their way.

Mulder and Scully had done some light renovations on the house since finding out she was pregnant, but tonight they had to reposition the tarp on the roof as there were a couple areas of the house where the roof leaked during major downpours. The would need to finish all the renovations the following summer. A lot had been put on hold during the end of Scully's pregnancy and after Micaela was born.

Jackson helped Mulder some on the roof, which made Scully nervous as she watched. Despite her son being practically an adult and despite that two other people had raised him for most of his life, she still worried like a mother. Once Jackson was finished with the task, he went back into the living room to see what was on TV.

Scully had set Micaela in her playpen in the middle of the room while she went up into the attic to check for any leakage there. Jackson's gaze flickered over in the baby's direction from time to time. He sensed that they trusted him with the baby even though he felt awkward around her.

A deep sound of rumbling followed by crackling sounded in the distance outside. The sky had darkened considerably since Jackson came inside. He looked out the window to see that the rain had started coming down. He hoped Mulder was almost finished outside, maybe he should check.

That was when Micaela began to whimper. He began to look around anxiously, wondering if perhaps he should go get Dana. Maybe she was hungry or something.

He sensed fear, only it wasn't his stood up and slowly approached Micaela's play pen. She looked up at him with bluish-green eyes as he approached, and whimpered.

Jackson watched her curiously for a moment before he figured out that she was afraid of the thunder. He could sense when she was happy or upset about something, even though he often felt out of place around her. The connection was similar to the one he had with Scully, but different.

"So you don't like thunder and lightning, huh?" he tried. Hopefully she wouldn't break out into a full out wail.

He carefully reached in and picked her up. Jackson remembered when she first came home with Dana and Mulder how delicate she was. She was so small, so fragile and innocent, yet oblivious to the dangers of the world. Jackson had never really held a baby before and he was so nervous that he decided to sit back down on the couch. He repositioned the baby in his arms so she was looking right up at him. She had the same ginger hair Dana had, but she had Mulder's greenish eyes. Thankfully, she had stopped fussing and was watching him intently, entirely focused on the person that was holding her who wasn't her mother or father.

Jackson looked down at her andhis head hurt slightly. He began to see images of the both of them, playing outside in the yard. She was older, around four maybe? She had demanded he lift her up so she could pick apples off of one of the trees nearby. Jackson shook his head to clear the image and looked back at her.

Dana had shown him a photo album from when he was a baby and he looked very similar to Micaela during that time. She had explained to him that babies' features often changed as they grew older. He looked down at the wide greenish-blue eyes staring up at him curiously. He couldn't help but notice how much she had grown since Dana and Mulder brought her home about three months ago.

Another crackle was heard in the distance, followed by a bright flash of light.

His sister responded by scrunching up her face. "It's okay, don't cry," he said as he rocked her gently. "You're safe in here."

It was in that moment that Jackson recalled a song, but he couldn't remember where he first heard it. "Jeremiah was a Bullfrog, was a good friend of mine," he sang a few more lyrics of the song stuck in his head, but inserted Micaela's name.

Sensing movement out of the corner of his eye, he looked over to see Scully. He hadn't heard her come down the stairs.

Jackson stood up nervously. "I-I'm sorry, I thought she was going to start crying and I didn't want to bother you," he moved to put the baby back.

Scully smiled. "Don't be silly, of course you can hold her," she assured him.

Jackson smiled. "Well, my arms are kind of tired, so..." he laughed nervously as Scully reached for Micaela and he handed the baby to her. She kissed the baby's downy head and that was when Jackson realized how tiny his mother was without her heels on. He practically towered over her.

"That song," she started. "Is that a favorite of yours?"

Jackson turned red. "Oh, umm I don't know where I heard it...it just sort of popped into my head." He could tell there was more to her question.

"I often sang that to you when you were a baby," her voice wavered slightly as she gently rocked Micaela in her arms. She looked away and Jackson knew she was fighting back tears. "And I even sang it to your father once," she let herself slip. "I can't sing very well, but hey, a baby doesn't know any different," she looked at Jackson and they both laughed.

Dana looked back at him, sensing something else was on his mind. "Are you okay?" She asked. Scully sensed something was off with her oldest. She looked down at her daughter to see that she was fast asleep and gently set her back in the play pen.

"Talk to me," she insisted.

In a way, he was a lot like her in regard to bottling up emotions.

Jackson hesitated. He didn't want to burden her, but he knew she wouldn't let him off the hook easily either.

"It took me a while to process the fact that my parents are dead...a lot of people are dead because of me."

Scully placed her hand on Jackson's arm and motioned for him to sit back down. "None of that was your fault. I know it's never going to be the same, but we're here for you as much as you want us to be."

Jackson couldn't help but tear up a little. He allowed Scully to reach her arms around him and pull him closer to her.

He moved back some and turned towards her. "You wonder if resent you. I don't. I know you were good to me. Micaela is very lucky to have you both."

Scully fought to keep the tears at bay but was losing. "We'll always be here for you too, I hope you know that," she whispered.

"I know," he thought back to her heartfelt revelation in the morgue.

They were startled by the slamming of the screen door in the back of the house. "All finished, none of us will be getting rained on while we sleep." Mulder walked into the living room. His clothes were soaked and he was dripping wet. "I'm going to change and I'll join you guys for whatever it is I seem to be missing out on."

"Mulder, take your shoes off before you track mud and whatever else throughout the house," Scully said.

Mulder responded with a groan and kicked his shoes off by the door before running up the stairs.

Jackson couldn't help but laugh a little. They reminded him a lot of his folks the way they bickered like old married people.

"She likes you a lot, you know," Scully said.

It took Jackson a moment to realize she was referring to Micaela.

"Oh, well I haven't interacted with her much. How do you know?"

Scully smiled. "The way her eyes light up when you walk into the room and the way she watches you or looks around for you."

Jackson hadn't really noticed all that. "Huh," he said.

Mulder and Dana weren't quite aware of the connection he and Micaela shared, or at least they didn't appear to be. But maybe Dana was beginning to figure it out. Jackson knew Dana was afraid that Micaela was like him...that she was different. She wasn't though. She wasn't part of the experiment like he was. His birth mother had gotten pregnant naturally, not that it was something he wanted to think about.

The sound of footsteps descending the stairs got their attention once again.

"Well, since we won't be leaving this house for a while, why don't we watch Twilight Zone?"

Scully looked up at him questioningly. "You mean that VHS tape that you said was done for?"

"I managed to salvage it and get it burned onto DVD."

Scully was impressed.

The three of them settled down on the living room couch and took full advantage of the time they had together knowing there would be many more.

END

 


I hope you guys enjoyed this. I wrote this while ss11 was airing so obviously it went AU. I can see it being unsafe for Jackson to always be with them, but they deserve some family time. Thanks again for reading and many thanks to my beta, WildwingSuz!

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